Take-off: Kuwait International Airport (Kuwait) – ICAO: OKBK
METAR OKBK 242000Z 25007KT 8000 NSC 12/08 Q1020 NOSIG (decode)
Landing: Doha International Airport (Qatar) – ICAO: OTBD
METAR OTBD 242000Z 07008KT CAVOK 25/17 Q1016 NOSIG (decode)
Route and flight plans
After my previous flight, someone asked me if I could share my flight plans. My answer is yes… and I got even better news. I will be sharing the .plg flight plans, which can be loaded in the freeware planning tool Plan-G and also be exported to various formats (FSX, FS2004, XPlane 9/10 and Prepar3D). I’m also programming a piece of code that will automatically analyze the folder with all these flight plans and display all waypoints on a map. That way, the whole route and progress will be visualized, which makes it a bit easier to get an idea how and where we are flying. This takes some time of course and I still have to figure out how WordPress will let me implement this external piece of code, but – with some patience – I believe we will get this working without any problems. For now, I’ll try to add a screenshot to each flight from the Plan-G application.
In our world tour, we finally reached the Persian Gulf. A big chunk of boring landmass has been crossed and I’m happy about that. Don’t get me wrong, the countries themselves aren’t boring of course, but the landscape scenery for these past few flights was plain with lots of sand and no variation in terrain. That’s boring for me, but for you – as a reader or follower of the world tour – this is probably equally boring. I can already feel that this is going to be the most challenging aspect of this world tour. Luckily, the trips are quite short, that makes it easier to manage.
Thunder and lightning
For leg 14, we start our IFR flight early in the morning at Kuwait International Airport. When we got our IFR clearance, I requested taxi to runway and got appointed runway 33L for take-off, but didn’t get any taxi directions nor was there a possibility to enable progressive taxi markings (which I try to avoid, unless I can’t find airports diagrams). As mentioned in our previous flight, we use freeware OKBK scenery (made by IVAO Kuwait) and I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but we had to search and find our own way on the airport.
At the holding position of runway 33L, we issued our request for take-off, but had to hold short for an approaching airplane. The weird scenery glitches from last flight were nowhere to be seen on the runway, but when the approaching plane landed, it kept floating a few feet above the runway when taxiing off. Very weird, this whole airport seems a bit spooky at times 😀 but I can’t tell if it’s a conflict issue between different add-ons, an incompatibility or bad scenery (would be a shame if it’s the last reason, because it looked good!).
Anyway, after clearance for take-off, we departed in northern direction, flew to Kuwait Bay, turned right and set course south to Qatar along the coastlines of respectively Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with a flight duration of approximately one hour and 50 minutes.
You might notice in the screenshots that the water color has changed to a less realistic look again. I used a functionality from REX4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds, which allowed me to set textures based on the current METAR / weather conditions (go to “Themes” → tab “Weather”). I thought this would only change sky textures, but this also changed the water color. Some people might like this feature, but I don’t like it so much. No good for me, lesson learned.
The cruising altitude was set to 5,000ft, because I wanted to enjoy the coastline scenery, but the weather took a turn for the worse (again) past Al Jubail, so we requested (twice) to increase our altitude to 13,000ft but still ended up cruising through thunder and lightning (watch HD for best experience):
When past Bahrain, I decided that I would try to record a longer video with the approach, ATC communication and the complete landing. For recordings, I use Fraps, a video capture tool commonly used to record gaming sessions for Youtube. The approach was without problems and although we had a good crosswind of 15kts, the landing was very smooth and I believe it was one of my best landings (difficulty taken into account) so far, but after having completed my session, I noticed that I had turned off the video recording when trying to take an additional screenshot of the landing. Another lesson learned, next time I will be taking additional screenshots straight from the video after my flight has finished. Well, for what it’s worth, here’s the approach with lock on to ILS localizer and glidescope… without landing (watch in HD for best experience):